Do your maple kitchen cabinets need a little sprucing up? Could they use a new coat of paint? If you’re wondering whether it’s even possible to paint maple wood kitchen cabinets, then you’ve come to the right place. Traditional maple kitchen cabinets can look a little outdated, especially when surrounded by otherwise more modern finishes. Maple wood kitchen cabinet painting is a big job and requires a great deal of preparation and precision, so it’s important to make sure every step is done correctly.
Is It Possible to Paint Maple Wood Kitchen Cabinets?
The short answer is yes, you can paint maple kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinet painting contractors in Toronto can offer a variety of shade and finish options that will help modernize your existing cupboards so you don’t have to replace them entirely. This is also a great opportunity to repair any minor damages such as nicks or scratches to breathe new life into your cabinets and your kitchen!
Hardwood maple has a closed grain smooth surface profile that lends itself nicely to creating a cohesive and seamless stain. Unlike oak, ash, or elm which are all open grained ring-porous hardwoods, maple wood is of the diffuse-porous variety. Closed grain hardwoods are a lot easier to stain or paint because they don’t require the use of wood-grain filler to accentuate the colour contrasts in the grains of wood. With that said, it’s still important to properly prepare the surface of maple wood cabinets prior to painting or refinishing.
Important Tips for Painting Maple Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Uninstall Kitchen Cabinets and Hardware
Starting from one end of the kitchen, carefully uninstall the cabinets from their fixtures. Unscrew all of the hardware, including metal hinges and handles, to prevent them from getting stained. Drawers and pulls should also be removed.
As you detach all of the components of the cabinets, use a black marker to number the hinge cavities so you know where each one goes when it’s time to reinstall them. Carefully set the doors aside on a large, covered painting area. Use tape and a marker to mark each of the hardware pieces and match them with their corresponding cabinets. Place all of the screws and hardware pieces in separate plastic bags for safekeeping.
Clean Grease and Dirt from the Cabinet Surfaces
Over time, kitchen cabinets can collect a lot of surface grease and dirt, some of which is invisible to the naked eye. Caked on dirt and grease forms an impenetrable barrier that prevents the stain or paint from adhering to wood. Kitchen cabinet painting contractors in Toronto sometimes use a liquid or powder trisodium phosphate (TSP) to clean cabinet surfaces. But that can leave behind an unwanted residue that also makes it harder for the stain to adhere to the wood, which defeats the purpose.
A safe bet is to mix a few drops of a mild dish soap with warm water and gently scrub the cabinets with the rough side of a standard sponge. Then use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the cabinet surfaces.
Sand Down the Cabinets
Sanding is an important process when it comes to painting maple wood kitchen cabinets. Maple tends to have a soft consistency and should therefore be handled delicately. Avoid using a highly coarse sandpaper as this can excessively wear the wood down to the point where it develops a fuzzy texture. Use sandpaper that has a 12-grit as this is just coarse enough to remove the existing layer of gloss and reveal the bare wood without damaging it.
You could sand the wood manually using your hands, but this can be time consuming and produce an uneven surface texture. A orbital sander will get the job done faster and produce more even results. Once you’re done sanding the cabinets, be sure to also sand down the wall boxes, doors, and drawers as well.
Use a tack cloth to remove the remaining dust from the surface of the cabinets and other pieces. An air compressor can be used to blow all the minuscule dust particles and pieces from the inner corners and panels of the cabinets. To achieve the best results, you should sand down the cabinets and other components multiple times throughout the painting process including between paint and primer applications.
Before you can get to the painting component, it’s important to apply a fresh layer of primer to all of the cabinets, wall boxes, and drawers. When applied correctly using the spray-on method, primer creates a smooth and seamless surface for the paint to adhere to that’s impossible to achieve with a brush or roller. Oil or shellac primer are ideal for maple wood cabinets because they form a sealcoat that bonds perfectly to paint.
Allow the Cabinets to Dry Between Coats
Set aside a designated space for a drying rack somewhere out of the way. Place the cabinets on the rack and allow them to dry in between applying each layer of primer and paint. To save time, use a double-sided rack that allows you to dry both the interior and exterior of the cabinets simultaneously.
Apply Multiple Coats of Paint
The general rule of thumb is to apply anywhere between two and three coats of paint depending on the colour depth you want to achieve.
Spraying primer and paint is the fastest and most convenient way to apply multiple coats at the same time. It also produces the smoothest and most consistent results. A heavy-duty sprayer allows you to adjust the thickness of each coat to evenly cover the surface of the cabinet and achieve the desired hue. It’s the equivalent of applying two coats at once.
If you’re planning on whitewashing your maple wood kitchen cabinets, spraying as opposed to hand painting, is highly recommended. Hand painting is incredibly time consuming and leaves behind noticeable brush strokes, especially when applying lighter shades.
Semi-gloss is the paint finish of choice for maple wood cabinets because it forms a smooth and visually appealing final product without requiring the use of wood grain filler.
Premium Maple Wood Cabinet Painting and Refinishing in Newmarket
Booth7 offers professional kitchen cabinet painting and refinishing services in Toronto, Newmarket, and throughout the GTA. Our goal is to breathe new life into your existing kitchen cabinets and modernize them to suit your tastes while minimizing mess and disruptions to your life. Contact us today to learn more!